home cooked theory

Counterproductive: From management to managing

The history of time management in the workplace draws on ideals of efficiency arising from the factory: a worker who comes to work, ‘clocks’ on and off, with discrete periods of separation and respite from the job. Extended to professional realms, the careful orchestration of activities through calendars and schedules allowed office workers the capacity […]

Making a return

When I think of the maker movement, I can’t help but think of three things that the current wave of interest doesn’t refer to: • Making do (an antipodean sensibility; if you don’t have access to something in the first place, you improvise around that absence. That’s why women were so good at sewing where […]

White-collar stress

Notes from Louis C. Feuer (1987) White-Collar Stress: A comprehensive, practical approach to relieving stress and insuring professional and financial success. Federick Fell Publishers, Hollywood (Fl). A book ‘for those who will play some games, for those willing to engage in some non-offensive manipulative behaviors, and for those willing to take on a new consciousness […]

Data sweat

A link to more work in progress. This paper is my first effort to bring cultural studies in to the world of high tech. It starts with some ground clearing etymology before introducing three new concepts: data agents, data sweat, and data exhaust. All three are efforts to expand the critical and ethical vocabulary for […]

How we became professional, part 3 – From organizations to collectives

(… continued from parts 1 & 2) Now that I work for industry, this interest in the history of professionalism needs to bear relevance to the practices of a company. Part of the learning curve for my job so far is grappling with the ingrained register of critique that has been an inheritance of my […]

How we became professional, part 2 – Managing without women

(…continued from part 1) 2. The emergence of time management manuals, from the 1970s to the present. As Boltanski and Chiapello show in the French context, management manuals are a useful archive to understand dominant registers of professional ambition and success. Over the past half-century in the US, popular versions of more formal instruction books […]

How we became professional, part 1 – Mayo’s missing women

Before joining Intel, I was planning a project on the history of professionalism. Specifically, I wanted to study genres of popular pedagogy devoted to teaching office workers self-management skills. I was interested in two areas, to be explored in the next series of posts: 1. The establishment of human relations as a discipline, particularly the […]

Speculations on Airbnb

These notes arise from discussions at the recent ‘Privacy and Accountability’ workshop at Intel and from excellent conversations with Maria Bezaitis. 1. Who do we live with now? Airbnb allows a new scale of possibility for long-term and short-term intimacy. People share their house with strangers, every day of the week. The desire for proximity […]

Finding composure

Kenneth Burke’s “Literature as Equipment for Living” (1941) is an early attempt to offer a sociological approach to literature – one that can account for the role of popular textual forms in cementing social relations. As a work of criticism, it proposes a method for assessing literary works as responses to ‘typical, recurrent social situations’ […]

Hacking for good

JW and I debrief after last weekend’s Hack for LA. The presumption is that people will “hack for good,” since to do otherwise is to question the implicit gift economy underwriting the event. But since when is hacking necessarily or in any way obviously done “for good”? This is a curious development. Jason said as […]

keep looking »
  • @melgregg

    The whole "placement rate" business makes sense of many things: slate.com/articles/life/…

    About 15 hours ago from Mel 's Twitter via TweetDeck

  • Out and about

  • Currently reading

    ISBN: 1-59605-072-1
  • ISBN: 978-0-472-11761-1
  • Categories

  • Archives